Blog post by Amrita Anand
Idhu varkum ellarum romba azhaga post panniruka about lot of things. Frankly, I ran out of topics when I sat down to pen something. Apram dhaan thonithu, the customary TamBrahm Diwali is something I can write about. Inikum diwali naale ellarukum special dhaan whether you are an NRI, hosteller or a day scholar. Some snippets from enga aathu diwali here a pretty long post but I hope you all like it.
The day starts with a 4 am wakeup call either from amma or appa depending on whoever has placed us (me and my sis) higher on the laziness scale :P. “Pandigai aadhuvuma thoongindrukadheengo, ezhundhu suru suruppa celebrate pannanum come on get up” This is the first normal call. My sister and I open one eye look at the clock – (Mind voice- Mani naalu dhaan aaradha? Bangalore kullurula ennatha patasu, oru patthu nimisham thoongalaam.) thirupi izhuthu pothindu sleep off.
The next call comes 15 minutes later in a much louder, sterner tone- “Pandigai adhuvuma thitta vendame nu paakaren, ipo ezhundhukaporela illiya rendu perum” Then ‘paavam kozhandhel’ mode sets in suddenly and the wakeup call continues as “madhiyanam saaptu thoongalam ipo endhukongo. Pudhusu, pattasu, bakshanam ellam iruke. Samatha kulichu ready aayitu vaango paapom in half an hour” Ok, now as chamathu kondhel we don’t sleep beyond this and get up to start the Diwali celebrations.
First, brush pannitu sooda oru cup filter kaapi in that 4:30 am kuluru – aaha enna oru sandhosham! Apram the customary nalla ennai (gingely oil) drops on head, hands and feet by parents. Namaskaram and new clothes. Yayy! Suru suruppa we are back with a bang smelling of seekai podi, sandal powder etc., wearing pudhusu and smiling ear to ear at the prospect of gorging on bakshanam officially. By this time, the home environment has changed with naadhaswaram CD playing the usual popular tracks, pooja room all set with flowers, saambarani fragrance all over the house and best of all- small onion sambhar smell wafting from the kitchen. Indha oru nimishathula kadekara happiness hostel la 12 noon varlum thoonginaalum kadekadhu!
After a small helping of bakshanam (small helping only ena kaalangaarthala kandatha thingapdaadhu) we bring down all the crackers which have been properly divided according to vedikapora velai and dried (javarsi vadam level). Oru 15 min we all argue about the smaller agarbathis being better than the large 10 re ones (which make you feel better about lighting coal) 😛 chinna oodhuvathi la vedi vechu pazhaganum you see. Then comes the best part of the morning, the customary ‘naanga dhaan iniki flat la first ready’ 10,000 wala saram. When we were younger this was like a competition in the apartment amongst all our friends and their families. These days indha moment podhu amma oda oru standard dialogue varum ‘iniki leave nu indha techies laam thoongindrupa and namla nalla thitta pora because of this saram’. But customary morning saram ellam vittu kuduka mudiyaadhu illa J So, we go ahead with this every year till date.
After an hour or so of pattasu we wipe off all the black soot from our hands and sometimes face to look presentable in front of god. Lot of enthusiastic people are already praying, bells are ringing, poojaris are chanting and the temple looks so lively with lamps, aarthis, electric lights and so many happy faces. Oh I missed the most important thing in the list which is, so many colourful pattu podavais with maamis sizing each other up and down. After that fruitful temple visit, (“andha maami oda navy blue color saree laye pink badhula green border with half diamond jarigai dhaan naa edukanum nu vechundruken un kalyanathuku” if this is not fruitful then what is :P) we get back for some yummy breakfast usually something easy to make for amma like idly or pongal. It’s just 9 am and it seems like half the day is over already with so many activities since morning.
Next, is the solomon papaiya thalamayil nadakum diwali sirappu pattimandram with us all drinking the next round of filter coffee. My parents being an ardent fan of Mr. Raja (who speaks last and mind you there is an irritatingly long ad break just before he speaks) glued to the TV for once in their life. Idhukapram comes the diwali special, aathu samayal and its usually potato curry (nalla chinna chinnadha naruki moru moru nu), small onion sambhar (no words to describe this beauty), vadai (amma panna sponge maadhri, naa panna scotch brite madhri- this is when I just help her with one round about 5 or 6 max), payasam (elixir) and the bakshanams of our choice, in unlimited quantities. I call this scene ‘paradise on earth’ especially being a hosteller for almost a decade now. My sister calls it ‘the kaanja maadu kambu la vizhundha madhri scene!’
Ipo oru thookam kanna sorugum paarungo and as promised my parents allow us the siesta. Poi oru thookam poduvom for an hour or so. Endhu sooda oru cup tea and preparations for the evening pattasu round which involves close friends and families coming over with sweets and vice-versa. We also usually walk around the entire apartment complex to see who is veduchufying maximum and to witness some community pattasu like the Paradise 250 which is lovely. Evening TV is an impossible affair. My sister and I used to just pray hope that our socks remained safe from the clutches of rockets that lost their way into our balcony. The sweets, snacks and all the constant tidbit eating make no room for dinner. But, you cannot escape the diwali lehiyam ok. One powerful urundai is equivalent to a 100 gastrointestinal medicines theriyumo 😛 As we near the day’s end oorla irukara ella home work um onnu onna nyabagam varum- moment of horror (As chamathu kids we ought to have finished them illiya, adhaan illa we called it starting late and finishing in style which translated to performing under pressure 😛 😛 but our parents thought otherwise with a sermon on why being a last minute person is bad ..). Epdiyo home work ellam ara goraia mudichutu we hit the bed tired but very very happy.
There. Adhoda the day comes to an end and we have to wait a year long for the next one though we know how each minute is going to be spent.